$5,000 Grants Now Available to California Community College Grads Transferring to Partner HBCUs

Eligible students would be awarded a one-time $5,000 grant if they attend one of the 39 HBCUs partnering with the California Community College system.
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Published on October 16, 2023
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  • A new law awards eligible California Community College graduates $5,000 if they attend a partner HBCU.
  • The California Community College system has a transfer program with 39 HBCUs across the country.
  • Students would have to sign a letter of intent to come back to California after they graduate.

California Community College graduates attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will now be eligible for a financial grant from the state thanks to a new law recently signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The legislation, introduced by California State Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan and signed by Newsom on Sept. 30, awards qualifying students a grant of $5,000 if they transfer from a California Community College to one of the 39 partner HBCUs.

The California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Pathway to Historically Black Colleges and Universities program guarantees any student in the California Community College system admission to partner HBCUs as long as they have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and have completed an associate degree or a minimum of 30 University of California or California State University credits, according to the system's website.

Certain HBCUs will require a higher GPA for acceptance.

California does not have any HBCUs, although it is home to one historically Black graduate institution (HBGI). Since all the partner HBCUs are located in the South, Midwest, and on the East Coast, any student from California would have to leave the state and pay out-of-state tuition.

"[Assembly Bill] 1400 creatively redirects funds to provide support to California's students looking to transfer to an HBCU and bring their talents back to California," Marlene Garcia, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said in a statement.

The one-time award would only be available for one academic year. Participating students would be required to file a statement of intent stating that they will return to California after graduating from their chosen partner HBCU, according to the bill.

Just over 50 students transferred from a California Community College to a partner HBCU in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.